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May 13, 2018

Dominic Thiem

Madrid, Spain

A. ZVEREV/D. Thiem

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Alexander today too strong? You were trying to come back, but he was better for details? You played very good winners, let's say, during the match.
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, I mean, it was I think an average match from both of us. I just couldn't maintain my level from the match against Rafa and the match yesterday against Anderson. That was the problem today.

Yeah, one break in the beginning of every set is a very bad start. In general, I was playing not good enough. He was not serving better than Anderson yesterday. I had many returns on the racquet, but just didn't make them, or played it too easy back for him. He was immediately in the offense.

All in all, it was just a bad match from me. Yeah, I will learn from it. In general, it was a very good week. Well, I hope I will get more chances to win a first Masters.

Q. You mentioned those breaks of serve at the start of each set, particularly the first one with the double-fault. Did you feel a bit nervous coming into the start of the match?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, in the first game I was tight a little bit, for sure. It's not a common thing for me to play in a final like this, so I was tight. But was only in the first game of the match.

I also got broken second set. I was not tight any more, so... Was a reason in the first set. I was serving with the wind in my back, which was not ideal. It was actually good, but not ideal at all that I got broken on this side.

This was for sure a first step into misery today (smiling).

Q. How significant has this week been for you in sense of preparing for the French Open?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was very important. I didn't have that great results in the last weeks, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona. Here I got my self-confidence full back, even I lost today. Was still a good week. I just played bad today, that's it. There is no reason to be worried.

I have the feeling that I have, on clay, a lot of matches in my own hand. Rafa is the player I have to be really at my best, and he cannot have his best day, to beat him. But what I was seeing this week, almost against everybody else, I have it in my own hands. That's a good thing to know, for sure.

Q. You won in Stuttgart grass, despite being a specialist on clay. How do you adapt to those surfaces because your game is great?
DOMINIC THIEM: Thank you (laughter).

I mean, I really love clay. I grew up on it. But the word 'clay court specialist' it began a little bit last year when I had these amazing results here and in Rome and Roland Garros. Before that, 2015, 2016, I think I was not known as a clay court specialist. Won my first big title in Acapulco on hard. I played my first good Masters tournament in Miami on hard.

I really love the other surfaces, as well. The word 'clay court specialist' I think is made up from somebody else, not from me. I had great results on this surface. But it's similar to Rafa, everybody says 'clay', but he won twice Wimbledon, three times US Open.

With me it's similar, just in a way smaller stage than him (smiling).

Q. Going back to the French Open. What do you think about Alexander's chances going into the French Open now?
DOMINIC THIEM: It's obviously different best-of-five. I mean, one thing is for sure: he will go deep in a slam very soon. I don't know, at the slam, it's different. There are a lot of dangerous opponents in the early rounds. I think that he's always the best in the later stages in the tournament. If he has troubles or if somebody can beat him, it's more in the earlier rounds. That's what make it difficult.

For sure, he will go very deep still this year in a Grand Slam.

Q. He's become the fifth active player to win three Masters 1000 titles. Do you view him as the best player outside the big four, or even on their level?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, for sure results-wise and also playing-wise, he's the best player outside the top four, that's for sure. You just need to look at his results. It's very impressive.

He's also very consistent. I mean, he played also Miami finals, this and that. I would say probably now, besides Roger and Rafa, he's the best guy, yeah.

Q. The Madrid altitude is good for your game? You promise you will try to win here next year?
DOMINIC THIEM: I don't need to promise to come back because I have to play here by the rules, so I'll come back for sure (smiling).

But, no, obviously I really love the tournament. Amazing conditions for me here. It's definitely a goal of me, that I win here. Two finals, it's very nice, but still I lost in the week. I leave Madrid with not the best feeling. I try to change that to leave one day here as the winner.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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